OUR MUSIC HISTORY

THE ORGAN

When the church first opened in 1889 music was provided by the church’s brass band until a new pipe organ was installed.This was a Bevington  piston Organ, which contained just under 1,000 pipes, two keyboards and a pedal board, served by 15 speaking stops. These were the days before electricity came to the church, so the organ was pumped by hand. The organ was placed in the pulpit behind the minister. In 1939 the organ was dismantled and enlarged to contain two new diapason stops, and the keyboard manual was moved from the front of the organ to the side. It was also given an electric motor and the organ pumpers found themselves without a job. 

Various organists had been employed and paid to not only play the organ but to be in charge of the church choir. During the 1950’s and 60’s the organist was Mrs Mary Williams ,then Mr Bert Clewes, one of the Boys’ Brigade officers. Les Rees-Partridge was appointed organist in 1974 and still holds the post.

During the 1980’s the organ was in a bad state. The front pipes that were added during the enlargement were leaning forward and in danger of collapsing on the the Pastor. The pipes were shored up, but instead of securing the shoring to the back wall behind the organ, the shoring was secured to the back of the organ itself. Eventually, the who organ.was leaning forward and the bellows were splitting.

The cost of repairs was beyond the financial means of the church so it was decided to purchase. The current Domus 8 electric organ. It has 60 speaking stops, 6 pre-set pistons, and 6 memory pistons which allows the organist to select own choice sounds and store them in the organ’s memory bank. There are three foot couplers , a tremulant stop, and volume controllers. 

‘Unfortunately, the organ is now rarely used as it is too powerful for our small congregation. Instead, songs are played on Yamaha electric piano which also has 6 different piano, 5 organ, 4 harpsichord, 3 guitar, 2 xylophone, 3 choir, 2 3 string sounds. 

MUSIC GROUPS AND CHOIRS

The church was first serviced by a full church choir which entered a number of local choir competitions (and won). In the 1960’s an Ambassador Choir was formed, with Michael Cartwright , a local school teacher and church member as choir leader. The criterion for joining was that you had to be prepared to give your testimony at a moments notice. A smaller choir continued under the leadership of Les Rees-Partridge. In the 1980’s musical taste was changing to the more modern song. A guitar based music group was commenced by Andy Pilcher. When he left, Les Rees-Partridge took over the reins again. Over the years the group decreased. An attempt was made early 2000’s to reassemble a new choir, and was maintained for about a year, including a Christmas concert. Music is currently provided by Les Rees-Partridge on piano and sometimes organ, with Malcolm as a singer. During the Covid 19 crisis, singing has had to stop and we are coming tinting to find new ways of using music in our services until Singing is once again allowed. 

HYMNS

We started with The Baptist Church Hymnal, replaced in 1961 by The Baptist Hymn Book. In 1980 we compiled our own hymn book called For His Praise. Youth Praise was used for youth services. Songs of Fellowship are now used but all songs are projected on to a screen. So books only see the light of day when the projector cannot be used.


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Page last updated: 2nd March 2021 5:06 PM